Managers have a responsibility to behave ethically and manage ethically. They set the example for all employees and will determine how effective ethics management can be. Ethical management provides a number of benefits, both to the company culture and financial gain of the organization.
Ethical management balances the different responsibilities of modern business organizations.
- Profit: All companies are responsible to make a profit in order to survive and fulfill their other obligations.
- People: This includes employees, customers, shareholders, and the community.
- Planet: Sustainability and the preservation of resources is a growing responsibility for businesses.
- Principles: The ethics that govern the organization will help the company to act ethically in every area.
Identifying the Characteristics
There are many different characteristics of ethical management. There are three traits, however, that people identify with ethical management:
- Integrity: The manager behaves with integrity and leads by example.
- Transparency: The company and its managers are transparent and do not hide their actions.
- Utilitarianism: The organization and manager considers the happiness of the people involved in the organization.
Ensuring Ethical Behavior
Because ethics and values are extremely personal, it is difficult to ensure that all employees will practice ethical behavior. There are ways to promote ethical behavior, however, by simply instilling a few basic rules.
- Develop an ethics management program.
- Develop a code of ethics.
- Develop a code of conduct.
- Create policies and procedures that reflect the company ethics.
It is not enough to simply create codes, programs, policies, and procedures. All rules must be enforced in order to be effective and curb unethical behavior.
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